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05th Oct 2023

Interesting data on solicitors in Australia – 2023

Andrew Murdoch examines data from The Law Society of NSW's National Profile of Solicitors to identify 4 key features that are most interesting to the in-house legal community. Give his video a watch to stay informed about the most recent industry trends and statistics. We hope you enjoy it!


I’m Andrew Murdock from Dovetail Solutions. Recently, the New South Wales Law Society published its National Profile of Solicitors. From this massive data, I’ve identified four key features that I think are interesting for the in-house legal community. The first is the growth of the in-house legal community. The second is the diversity amongst the states. The third is the gender split amongst the in-house lawyers. And the fourth is age. I’ll go through these in turn.

The legal profession has grown significantly over the past decade. Between 2011 and 2022. The number of lawyers in Australia grew by 57%. To put this into perspective, the population grew by 18% during the same period. But it hasn’t all been equal. The number of private practice lawyers has grown by 39%, while the number of in-house lawyers and the number of government lawyers has more than doubled.

Although there’s been a large growth within in-house, it’s still the number of private practice lawyers that dominate the legal profession. With four times the number of private practice lawyers, as there are in-house lawyers in Australia.

The number of in-house lawyers vary significantly between states, with New South Wales having the lion’s share with 52% of in-house lawyers, followed by Victoria with 25%, Queensland with 12 and a half per cent, W.A. with 6% and the remaining per cent scattered across Australia. If we follow that logic, then then for every one legal job in Perth, you can expect two in Queensland, four in Victoria and eight in New South Wales.

The gender figures are also interesting within the profession, across the entire profession. Females represent 55% of all lawyers in Australia, but again, this varies between sectors. In private practice, for the first time this number has reached 50%, but within in-house females represent 61% and within government lawyers they represent 69%.

The fourth and final interesting point from the data is age. Private practice lawyers seem to start their careers earlier and finish them later. 21% of private practice lawyers are aged under 30, whereas only 7% of in-house lawyers are aged under 30. At the other end, 16% of private practice lawyers are aged over 60. Whereas only 6% of in-house lawyers are aged over 60.

You can find out more information regarding this data by clicking on the link to get through to the New South Wales report. Alternatively, if you want to know more about your career options or you’d like someone to join your team, please give us a call at Dovetail Legal Solutions. Thank you.